Black Excellence: Cesley Frost

During Black History Month, we here at Great School Voices are recognizing the SoBEO Black Excellence Awards honorees. 

These folks and organizations have made an indelible imprint on changing the State of Black Education both in Oakland and nationally. We want to provide you all with opportunities to support their work in any way you can, whether it be through financial support, amplification, or simply learning about what they do and joining their movement. 

Cesley Frost has been serving Oakland public school families for 15 years, including her current role as the middle school principal of BayTech Charter School.

What did receiving a SoBEO award this year mean to you? 

Receiving the SoBEO award was such a great honor. By being recognized, I was reminded that my efforts are valued and the community is grateful for my work. I hope that my work and recognition motivates others to serve and dedicate their time to improving the community and investing in our most precious gift, our youth. To receive public notoriety for the completion of the work that fulfills me and brings joy to so many is the ultimate honor and I am forever grateful. 

To be acknowledged for dedicating my life’s work to complete the most rewarding and important work in the world is a great reward in itself.

As an educator, I’ve made every effort to ensure daily moments of success for my students. We know that success breeds success and by experiencing success, we motivate our students to have the courage to try new things and learn new ways for the opportunity to experience another successful moment. Receiving the SoBEO award was a very powerful feeling of success for me. It is a huge motivator to continue my work and continue experiencing success for myself and motivating success in others. 

What is your vision for your work in the coming year? 

I have been committed to serving the families in Oakland for 15 years and I am grateful to be blessed to continue my service. I strive to continue to provide students with what they are entitled to, a Free, Public, Appropriate and SAFE education. In order to provide our students with all that they need and deserve, we have got to work together – it truly takes a whole community to raise a child and Oakland is so strong, resourceful, and full of opportunities for our students. I am so honored to partner with the many community resources that support my current students and BayTech Charter School and I look forward to making new partnerships as I continue my service to the community. 

Through my work and connections, I plan to continue to bridge the gap between communities and resources for students. Through my dedicated work I plan to continue to provide my students with new experiences. I always remind my students of the benefit of having options and to cherish each moment – the good and the bad – all are learning experiences and all are temporary – it is important to be grateful for each day and each experience. 

I will continue to find resources that will encourage my students to stay focused and learn as much as they can to fulfill their dreams. 

I will work with my fellow school community to teach students to dream big and work toward that dream – and to never lose sight of their dreams. 

How can readers best support your work?

To best support the work, we have to make kids and student learning a priority – all components of what students need to learn. Make Free, Appropriate Public and Safe Education a priority for all. 

We must continue to work together to  ensure equitable access for all students to receive the resources that they are entitled to. 

Please email me @ [email protected] or Visit for more information and ways to donate. 

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